I was in my mid-20’s when one of the biggest revelations started unfolding for me that would dramatically shift my life, beliefs, relationships, and faith.
It started when one of my girlfriends came over, sat on my bed, and cried in my arms:
“Stacey, I want to be married, I need to be married, I DESERVE to be married!!”
My heart was filled with compassion for my friend who had been tormented with rejection from her parents growing up. She was also one of those who played ‘bride and groom’ dress-up when she was little, watched all the Disney fairytales, and had this big dream in her heart of being a “Mrs.” So, there was a lot of desire, mixed with programming, mixed with neediness — just wanting to be assured that love was waiting somewhere for her.
It was messy, for sure.
So, week after week, she’d cry some version of this in my arms,
“I DESERVE to have a good man in my life!”
“I’m WORTHY of being loved!”
And I would sit there and hold her and say all the good, girlfriend things:
“Of course, you’re a wonderful person!”
“Of course, you’re brilliant and beautiful!”
“Of course, a man would be lucky to have you!”
(Even though, to be honest, as wonderful as she was, I kinda knew she was going to be an emotional handful…)
My husband would walk past our bedroom and roll his eyes just a little at the person whom he affectionately re-named, “Depressing Debbie.”
And I would comfort her.
But something wasn’t sitting well with me…
I would hear myself say those assuring-girlfriend kind of phrases but I just felt bothered saying them to her, so, I turned them into a prayer to God,
“God, why does this bug me so much? My friend says she deserves love and marriage and all this good stuff — and I want to agree, but why is this not sitting well with me?”
And I left the question for Spirit to unfold for me…
A few years later, I was heading a music team to perform at an event. (Rock and I spent many years as full-time professional musicians, traveling around the country with recording CDs and performing live).
One of the women on the team was vocally strong enough to be there, but hadn’t gotten the solo she had auditioned for. She was a fine support voice but not really a soloist and she was doing that sideways, seeps-out-of-the-corner of her words kind of complaining about not getting the solo and how much better she thought she was than everyone else.
I would just shake my head on the inside.
Because the ironic thing was that most of the rest of the time, she was an insecure mess — not feeling worthy of your time or attention. You know, one of those people who apologizes for just breathing the same air as you?
That’s how she was.
There’s a bigger story to how this revelation started coming to me about her and where I did the same things too, but basically, I started noticing how feeling Unworthy had a flipside to it:
I brought the question of Unworthiness and Entitlement’s relationship to the Divine conversation along with all the other questions that were already waiting in the queue….
Taking those wonderings I had over those years and turning them into a spiritual inquiry helped me greatly to be open to new understandings and new ways of seeing things.
At some point, these thoughts came to me about the original question about why the word, ’Deserving’ bothered me so much.
It was because ‘Deserving’ has an opposite:
And ‘Worthy’ has an opposite:
And ‘Loveable’ even has an opposite:
And that’s when it started to unfold why it wasn’t sitting well with me…
Because who gets to decide what we are in society? Who gets to vote on who’s worthy or unworthy of love or good things?
And what is it based on?
How small our jeans are or how big our bank account is?
Where we live now or where we came from before?
Our nationality, religion, or race or something else?
I mean, really — who gets to decide those SUBJECTIVE things?
I realized that I didn’t want that power to tell my friend whether she was worthy or not because I didn’t want that power to tell anyone that they weren’t.
No one should have that power in our life.
But those words… gosh, those words of worthy and unworthy — deserving and undeserving — they’re all over our culture. How do we swim against that strong stream of energy and ideas about who we are…
That’s when a different word came to me:
Ooh, it felt so right. Not a super sexy word but really, really satisfying because it nestled comfortably into the personal belief I hold:
God is Love
Love made us
We are Love.
And if that’s a true premise, then the next natural understanding is that we are DESIGNED to love and be loved.
No questions asked. No vote needed.
It takes all the subjective ‘worthy’ and ‘unworthy’ out of it.
I LOVED that!
And you know what else I loved?
There’s no opposite.
Once you’re designed, you can’t be UNdesigned. I mean, sure, we all leave this earth at some point, but we were still here with our soulprint — and our CORE VALUE was still the same:
Made from Love
To Love and Be Loved.
That was our design
And always will be.
So, that’s why I started sharing this quote on social media 9 years ago and put it on the back of my Bloom Beautiful book and in my Bloom Beautiful app:
“You don’t deserve to be loved;
You’re designed to be loved.
Because I wanted every woman who came across those quotes to KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they didn’t need to ever question their worth again. They didn’t need to wonder if they were ‘good enough’ to be loved and treated well and they didn’t need to wonder if they were ‘safe enough’ to love and treat others well.
Once they knew WHO they were and WHAT they were designed for, then the unworthiness ideas would melt away
And you know what else would too?
The entitlement. That flip-flopping thing that happens when we are on the emotional teeter-totter about ourselves; either up or down, just disappears. You know why?
Because when you know who you are, you love yourSELF and that inner balance that Love brings takes away the instability and roller-coaster-y craziness that we feel.
Are we always super clear on that? No. We get cloudy and lose sight of who we are (which we will talk about next week) but the truth remains:
Our value is inherent in our design.
We don’t need to prove it or search outside of ourselves for it — we don’t need to beg for it or demand it.
The truth of who you are sets you free.
You are Love.
Designed to Love and Be Loved.
Or you know, really…
Sending you so much goodness and light,
Stacey Robbins is a coach, author, and Italian retreat leader who uses everything — including a diagnosis with Hashimoto’s — to take her life and others’ lives to the next level of love and healing.
Thank you. I have stated previously that i struggle with “love”. I want to be able to embrace it one day. You make it sound not so scary. As always, thank you for sharing